Can I get workers comp if injured when working from home?
Wieand Law Firm, LLC understand workers comp working from home employees may have an uphill battle getting their employer to process their claim. With many employers and employees transitioning to remote work, workers compensation for remote workers is a new concept. Many telecommuting employees wonder if they are eligible for workers comp working from home.
The answer is yes; typically, remote workers are covered by workers compensation if the accident occurs while the employee is completing work tasks during work hours. Employers are responsible to provide a safe work environment for their remote workers and their on-site workers.
Common Work from Home Injuries
Repetitive Stress Injuries – for many telecommuters, their work entails repetitive movements while working at a computer desk. They may develop sprains or strains from poor ergonomic set ups at their home office. Injuries such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, back pain, and bursitis are common repetitive stress injuries for the telecommuter.
Slips, Trips and Falls – trips and falls at a home office can cause a serious injury. For example, trips can occur when cords are not safely secured and tucked out of walkways. Work from home employees might wear footwear, such as slippers, that lack non-slip features.
Commuting and the Employee’s Home as a Secondary Jobsite
Many employees have a hybrid work model, in which an employee is required at times works from home and at times to work in an office. In these circumstances, the employee’s home may be treated as a secondary job site. Therefore, commuting between the home and the office can be considered within the course and scope of the employment.
Let’s give an example. Company A is trying to minimize the number of staff at the office at one time. Therefore, the company has asked Maria to work from home in the morning, and only come into the office in the afternoon. If Maria is traveling between her home worksite and the office worksite and gets into a car accident, it is likely that her injuries would be covered by workers compensation.
How does the Personal Comfort Doctrine Impact Workers Comp Work from Home Employees?
Remote workers are covered by the personal comfort doctrine. This doctrine states that employees can engage in activities intended to provide personal comfort and still be covered by the workers compensation act. These activities may include activities such as using the restroom, eating lunch, or taking a smoking break.
The workers compensation carrier for the company, in collaboration with their defense counsel, will be looking closely at these situations. The attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC recommend that injured remote workers engage a workers compensation attorney to advocate for their best interests.
If you are a remote worker who has been injured during the course and scope of your at home work responsibilities, reach out to the Wieand Law Firm, LLC for representation. Our attorneys are experienced with workers comp working from home injuries. Call us today at 215-666-7777 or send us a message to talk directly with our attorneys for a free consultation.